A brand-new corporation created by Democratic Congressional candidate Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick gave more than $155,000 to a Florida political committee tied to a Republican-friendly political consultant, records show. Cherfilus-McCormick is one of the twelve Democrats seeking the nomination to replace Alcee Hastings as the CD 20 Representative in the United States Congress. While Cherfilus-McCormick repeatedly denies trying to “buy the seat,” paying huge sums to a controversial consultant to Republican candidates may be a sign money is no object to her campaign.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION?
According to State records, on March 12,2021 Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick formed SCM Consulting Group LLC. Cherfilus-McCormick used her parents’ Miramar address as the business address for SCM Consulting Group LLC. Two months later, SCM Consulting Group began making large contributions to the Leadership In Action political committee.
In May 2021, SCM made three contributions totaling $6,577.36 to Leadership In Action. In June 2021, SCM gave 6 contributions totaling $45,276.33 to the committee. In July 2021, SCM gave $52,343 spread out over 6 contributions. Last month, Leadership In Action received $37,262 from SCM Consulting Group LLC.
The address for Leadership In Action is the same Cooper City address used by controversial political consultant Mark Goodrich. Since May 2021, Leadership In Action paid nearly $63,000 to Goodrich for consulting fees. According to published reports, Goodrich is no stranger to controversial electioneering tactics and Republican candidates.
In 2005, Florida Governor Jeb Bush took legal action to keep the Americans For Jeb Bush political committee from using his name and likeness to raise money. The Tampa Bay Times reported the committee was “backed partly by Mark Goodrich, a conservative political activist and fund raiser who worked on Rick Lazio’s unsuccessful 2000 U.S. Senate campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In 2009, Mark Goodrich bragged to the Sun-Sentinel about his ability to reach out to Republican voters in Fort Lauderdale. Goodrich was the consultant for mayoral candidate Earl Rynerson.
“Earl definitely would be very favorable to the Republican Party,” Goodrich told the Sun-Sentinel. “We’re going to reach out to Republicans.” Goodrich said “that was one reason Rynerson decided to put the words ‘Lt. Colonel’ in front of his name.”
Later, Goodrich rejected calls to label the openly gay Rynerson as a “gay candidate.”
“He’s not running to be the city’s first gay mayor, his campaign manager, Mark Goodrich, said. ‘He’s not running to be the first gay anything. I could say he’s running to be the first lieutenant colonel mayor.’”
In 2015, ethical investigations swirled around worked performed by the Moving Forward PC in Homestead. Goodrich was a paid consultant for Moving Forward.
In 2016, Mark Goodrich performed “community outreach” for Miami-Dade Republican Raquel Regalado when she ran for mayor.
Why would a Democrat hire a consultant so deeply tied to Republican candidates? And why would Cherfilus-McCormick pay her consultant via a State political committee instead of her own Federal campaign account?
When REDBROWARD asked Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick about Mark Goodrich, she admitted he was “one of many” consultants helping her campaign.
Cherfilus-McCormick was less forthcoming when asked why her brand new corporation was paying nearly $156,000 to the Leadership In Action.
Cherfilus-McCormick tried to say she did not remember and would have to review her records. When asked why a CEO and lawyer couldn’t recall the details of large payments to a political committee tied to her campaign consultant, Cherfilus-McCormick claimed the $156,000 was for “medical services canvassing” work done by Goodrich.
She once again asked for time to review records and promised more information.
Cherfilus-McCormick never called back.
REDBROWARD contacted Mark Goodrich to ask him about his work for Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick.
“Pass,” Goodrich said.
REDBROWARD reached Mark Goodrich at the telephone listed as the contact number for the Leadership In Action political committee.
Guess Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and her team don’t think voters deserve answers.